Ensco adds another drillship to its fleet as deep water booms

Ensco  has announced plans to add a drillship to its fleet as demand for the deep-water vessels and platforms continues in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and other hot spots.

Ensco, a London-based offshore drilling services company, has contracted with Samsung Heavy Industries to build the ENSCO DS-10 for $625 million. It will be Ensco’s eighth Samsung drillship, as the company seeks to standardize its fleet. Samsung is currently building its ENSCO DS-8 and ENSCO DS-9, which are scheduled to be delivered in 2014.

“We continue to see very strong demand for rigs in existing deepwater markets, along with growing demand from emerging exploration areas,” said Dan Rabun, chief executive officer of Ensco. “The advances on these most recent drillship orders are again all about helping our customers succeed.”

The new drillship is part of Ensco’s strategy to grow earnings through fleet expansion. It spent $1.35 billion on new builds in 2012 and has another $1.2 billion dedicated for new builds this year.

Ensco’s four active DP3 drillships are currently working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and West Africa. Three are contracted into 2016 and the fourth is contracted into 2018.

The new drillship, the ultra-deepwater ENSCO DS-10, will be constructed by Samsung Heavy Industries at its South Korea shipyard and is scheduled for delivery the third quarter of 2015. It will be Ensco’s eighth drillship to use Samsung’s advanced-capability design features, which range from improvements in drilling and processing to the latest in dynamic positioning capabilities. The design of the ship aims to improve drilling productivity and fuel efficiency, two key factors that affect the operator’s project costs.